• Digital Health Trends at CES 2014

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    shutterstock_8668432 [Converted]This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicked off on January 7th with nearly 3,000 exhibitors and more than 150,000 attendees.

    While the conference is an annual hit with technology buffs interested in the latest from driverless cars to

    Consumer electronics imageThis year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicked off on January 7th with nearly 3,000 exhibitors and more than 150,000 attendees.

    While the conference is an annual hit with technology buffs interested in the latest from driverless cars to throwable camera balls, this year’s event put a greater spotlight on health care than ever before.

    As a part of CES, the Digital Health Summit, a sub-conference spanning two days, celebrated its fifth year with sessions on the “digital health manifesto” and how “digital health saved my life.”

    The show reported a 40 percent growth in digital health exhibitors when compared with last year, a statistic that can largely be attributed to two key trends_ health and wellness becoming increasingly consumer-oriented as a younger and more health-conscious generation enters the market; and Baby Boomers slowly catching on to the ways that technology can make managing health care a whole lot simpler.

    Among the big trends that were of interest included the uses of tele-health systems that allow for seamless experiences between devices while providing a greater ability to monitor one’s health. That focus came with good reason, as rising health care costs and the newly enacted Affordable Care Act both push preventative care as an avenue for creating a more efficient marketplace.

    Tele-health plays a critical role here because remote care will allow individuals to connect with their physicians more often without so much as having to leave their living rooms, thereby cutting down on unnecessary doctor visits and hospital stays.

    Dr. Joseph Kvedar, of the Center for Connected Health at Partners HealthCare in Boston, echoed those same sentiments during his CES panel titled, “Point-of-Care, Everywhere.” The session discussed the need for tools designed for the on-the-go individual and stressed that “from tele-health systems to seamless experiences between devices, focusing on meeting patients and consumers exactly where they are is becoming increasingly critical for success.”

    As depicted in this CNSI infographic, surveys show that people are increasingly interested in switching to physicians who offer electronic access to medical records, a strong showing of potential.

    For Kvedar, the key is making digital health tools as addictive as people find their smartphones so that they want to check in on their well-being throughout the day, much like an individual might on Facebook. Highlighting social connections and making the user experience more personal, as Kvedar notes, may just be the right trick.

    Can social media help motivate people to engage with their health through technology? Tweet @CNSICorp to let us know! Follow CNSI on Twitter.